Who makes a better sales person?

Every now and again one needs to look at their life vision and ensure they are still on track to achieving it. Today we are revisiting the vision of this blog. Journeying to the top as women.

Today I had a really interesting discussion with a colleague at work. Before I go into what we spoke about, I need to share this. I happen to be surrounded by work colleagues who have more than 25 years working experience and for the majority of them, they have been with the same company for all these years.  For most it’s difficult to imagine how a person could stay so long with an employer. In 2009 our company,  (the one I work for)  celebrated 50 years of operations in our country. As part of our jubilee celebrations, I had the opportunity to interview over fifty staff members. Some of them had been with the company from inception. Naturally for anyone who had served for more than 10 years, I was curious  to find out why they had stayed with the same company for so long. I got the same response from all the interviewees. Even though they said it in different words, what was evident was that they were enjoying what they were doing so much that they did not realise how the years were passing.  This brings to mind the popular saying “time flies when you are having fun ” . Now these colleagues of mine are a gold mine, or should I say diamond mine of career advice. Even with no degrees and MBAs, they have “seen it all”. Each time I try and make time to learn from them and get their advice on various aspects of my career. If you have such people at your workplace or any other circles, please make use of them. You could learn a lot of things from them.

So today I had some quality  time with one of these veterans. In the course of our discussion the veteran mentioned that he did not believe women make better sales people than men. His reason being that women are used to being chased after by men and it therefore doesn’t come naturally for them to chase after an order. He does not believe women could sweet talk an Eskimo into buying ice, something he believes men are capable of.  He went on to say if it was up to him, he would not appoint women into the actual trenches of face to face selling but would rather have them do something else.

You see my veteran colleague has been in sales for almost 30 years both in the “trenches” and as a manager. He even had his own examples with names of people I also know to lend credence to his assertions.

Being a woman myself and being mother of an intelligent young girl, I was really concerned. I definitely know women are as good as men not only in sales but in any other career they chose to pursue. When men in influential positions have certain stereo types about what women can and cannot do, then we have serious challenges as society. God forbid that  mediocre men climb the corporate ladder at the expense of intelligent women.

Today my encouragement is that you invest in yourself. Distinguish yourself from the rest. Go the extra mile. My pastor says the difference between ordinary and extra ordinary is the extra. You owe it to yourself.

I would love to hear your views on this. Till next time.

Journey mercies

…5 minutes to…

So I have not been consistent in my updates on this blog. The reason is that I work for a company whose financial year ends on the 31st of December. I am busy ensuring that we deliver the ‘numbers’ that we promised to the powers that be. Effectively I have 7 weeks to do this. I have therefore squeezed a few minutes from my lunch break to give this update. Its five minutes to year end so I know you understand! 

So today I would like to share with you the books that have made it to my top 5 list for 2013. I realised a while back that when it comes to managing your career, there are some things that you will never learn in undergrad or even MBA. They can only be shared by those who have walked the road you are walking. I am grateful that some of them are willing to share their stories through books. Here goes my list

1. Dare: straight talk on confidence, courage and career for women in charge by Becky Blalock

2. Lean in: women, work and the will to lead by Sheryl Sandberg

3. Nice girls don’t get the corner office: unconcious mistakes that women make that sabotage their careers by Lois P Frankel

4. Its rising time: a call for women by Kim Kiyosaki

5. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

 

I am sure we will meet the numbers we promised so you can watch this space for updates on that.

Happy reading.